Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Is there such a thing as good grief?

Tomorrow morning I'm going my third funeral. I don't know if three is considered high when it comes to funerals, but I feel lucky to have only experienced three. When looking back at my funeral history, I wonder if it's telling to compare the funerals I chose to attend versus those I didn't go to.

The first funeral I could ever bring myself to attend was for Casey Wheeless my senior year in high school. Casey was the first boy I ever kissed and the only boy that a girl has wanted to kick my ass over. I still remember the sobs, his mother and the closed casket.

Years passed and my next memorial service was for the daughter of a colleague at the PR firm where I worked. She was three and ran out into the street. The service was held in a tent at her favorite playground. It was the first snow of the season that day, and I couldn't stop sobbing.

Number three is tomorrow.

I did not attend my father's funeral when I was 12. It was hard enough for my mom to get me to go to the hospital to say a final goodbye. Stubborn...that's me. I also didn't attend the funeral for my great grandmother. I think with her I was spared because I was so young.

At first glance, I'm sure you could argue that I'm uncomfortable dealing with the death of those I love (as opposed to friends and acquaintances I have cared deeply for). However, I would counter that with the fact that I was not super close to my great grandmother and had been estranged from my father. Or, you could also argue that I have had time to mature and learn to deal with death. All I know is that I hope my dealings with it continue to be limited.


  1. I've only been to two and am extremely grateful for that.

  2. I haven't been to that many either, but they can be good for closure.

  3. Perhaps mom thought I was too young, and wouldn't remember going to our great grandma's funeral, but I do. I went to Sara's father's funeral. I don't care for death, as immature as it may sound I don't like being grounded in reality, and death is the most real thing I can imagine experiencing. I remember Casey, he was in my freshman homeroom. I didn't know you were that close. I'm glad you're coming home.

  4. I've always been very upfront about not wanting to attend close the funerals of those who are really close to me.

    I tell my mother all the time 'if someone in the immediate family dies...don't think I'm awful...'.

    That said, I've been to dozens of extended family ones. My grandfather has a bazillion cousins and they're older....I grew up at wakes.